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Poll up or Shut Up: With Two Days to go, Presidential Betting Intensifies
With media reports influencing voter behaviour like never before, the dynamic is as important as the candidate.
The American Presidential Race is staggering into its final days, with odds sliding before our very eyes at major sportsbooks to indicate an election going down to the wire.
Two Week Swing
A significant shift based on Donald Trump’s abrasive behaviour and insensitive remarks towards women combined with increasing allegations of sexual harassment put Hillary safely ahead with two weeks left in the campaign.
Announcement Hurts Hillary
A new development has led to that seemingly secure hold evaporate in a matter of days: FBI Director James Comey of his own volition publicly informing Congress of a new FBI investigation into Hillary’s emails.
The Polling Hit
This has brought Hillary’s lead back down to single digits and dropping, turning the election into a full-fledged horse race between candidates reduced in the eyes of John Q Public to, respectively, a sexual discriminator and a bad e-mailer.
Well, if voting on these candidates is not appealing, betting sure is, with the shifts in odds tantalizing punters.
All intrigue aside, let us assess the electability of candidates according to the impact of significant recent developments in the court of public opinion on the chances of the candidates.
Odds Fortnight Swing
With recent polls putting Clinton and Trump neck and neck, Bovada’s odds for November 4th show a significant shift in the last two weeks, with Hillary Clinton at -300 and Donald Trump +210. Two weeks earlier, Clinton was a -550 favourite to Donald Trump's +350 odds as of October 20th.
Odds Behaviour Summary
In the last six months, the odds have been jumping all over the place, with Trump the early favourite before increasing allegations of sexual harassment brought to full capacity the amount of Trump’s outspoken public political opponents in his own party, putting Hillary firmly out front.
FBI Director’s Timing
The heavyweight blow to Hillary’s lead is directly attributed by all experts to the timing of the announcement of the re-opening of the FBI reinvestigation by Comey.
Comey’s Unapproved Communication
In an update reportedly against the wishes of Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Comey informed Congressional leaders by letter on Friday that "the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete this additional work."
The True Ramifications
With as many as 650,000 emails subject to review, that sounds like it could take anywhere from a minimum of three full days (hint) to eight full years (hint hint).
Legal Officials Disagree
Aside from the content, the timing of the announcement has come under scrutiny. In fact a bipartisan group of almost 100 former federal prosecutors and senior Department of Justice officials that includes former Attorney General Eric Holder signed a letter announcing they were "astonished" and "perplexed" by Comey's decision.
Comey’s Announcement Illegal?
The curiousness of the timing was spelled out in a letter Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid sent to Comey the following Sunday suggesting Comey have violated a federal law barring federal officials from using their authority to influence an election.
Trump attempted to seize on the developments by calling out voters to address the situation: "We have one ultimate check on Hillary’s corruption, and that is the power of the vote," he said Sunday, and the next day praised Comey's announcement as taking "a lot of guts."
In the polls, Clinton still holds the lead, but campaigns, pollsters, and analysts still believe the full impact on the election of Comey’s announcement has yet to be felt.
In light of the fact that most Trump supporters do not seem to follow the news and are just supporting his rhetoric, it will take a cool head to see through the indignity of the latest American Presidential election and make the informed choice.
Hillary by a nose. Chances of making it through an entire term 50-50, and not because of the path of her emails. Seek and maybe ye shall find.